The hands of Abraham Lincoln portrayed in the 19-foot-tall statue that is the focal point of the Lincoln Memorial were based on hand casts taken in 1860.
Sculptor Daniel Chester French studied the work of Leonard Wells Volk, who convinced Lincoln to sit for him after he won the Republican nomination for president.
When Volk casted Lincoln’s hands, the right one was swollen, a result of constant handshaking on the campaign trail.
Volks sold 33 casts of Lincoln’s hands for $1,500 each.
His subscribers included sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Dracula novelist Bram Stoker and assistant secretary of state J.L. Cadwalader.